• Infinite

    Infinite

    ★★

    Has all the bones of a YA adventure (your Harry Potters, Divergents, Infinites, Maze Runners, Never-Haven-Wonder-Hageners, it’s all the same shit) snapped and clumsily arranged to resemble a satisfying blockbuster vehicle. The outsider thrust into a clandestine fantasy war is much more engrossing when you’re following a wide eyed teen discovering they’re part of a much larger world for the first time instead of 50 year old Mark Wahlberg enacting his power fantasy of being a reincarnated Japanese blacksmith/Aztec warrior. Would sit comfortably among five other copies that all local thrift stores inexplicably have, but now rests buried as a necessary casualty of the ongoing streaming wars.

  • Grey Gardens

    Grey Gardens

    ★★★★

    Maybe the real Grey Gardens were the domesticated raccoons and debilitating regret we made along the way.

  • Little Shop of Horrors

    Little Shop of Horrors

    ★★★★½

    An unapologetically kitsch salute to everything pushed to the fringes of society. Sex workers, b-movie creatures, masochists, and all sorts of other marginalized members of Skid Row on a level playing field to harmonize in explosive forms of expression that only the musical can grant. A murderers' row of supporting actors, but Steve Martin steals this thing and rides off into the night cackling like a maniac. I'm in awe that this is still PG-13 with the inclusion of his scene with Bill Murray.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Raiders of the Lost Ark

    ★★★★★

    I don’t have anything insightful to say beyond that this whips an insurmountable amount of ass without even flinching.

  • Area 51

    Area 51

    ★½

    Pour one out for Oren Peli’s directing career 😔.

  • The Crazies

    The Crazies

    ★★★★

    Redundantly relevant even as we hopefully find ourselves at the tail end of our own Codename: Trixie disaster. Completely removed from the more fantastical elements of zombie films, The Crazies is Romero stripped of all pretense and flesh eaters going straight for the fallibility (and let’s be honest incompetence) of organizations that would let an event like this reach beyond the borders of a small town. Societal collapse coming from behind the scenes as much as it does from ground zero. The man has the subtlety of a rusty sledgehammer, but he never misses his target.

  • I'm Your Woman

    I'm Your Woman

    ★★★½

    “Good for her”core

  • Josie and the Pussycats

    Josie and the Pussycats

    ★★★★

    Tired: David Fincher hiding a Starbucks cup into every scene of Fight Club to comment on how consumerism has become commonplace.

    Wired: Josie and the Pussycats brazenly implanting brand names into the very fabric of its production design to show just how inescapable and frightening our capitalist society really is.

  • Killers Anonymous

    Killers Anonymous

    ★½

    The end of a long game of telephone Tarantino unknowingly kicked off with Reservoir Dogs and the slew of imitators that followed. Just a garble of influences and styles passing for cleverness.

  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    ★★★

    Pretty standard exercise in modern horror, where every other scene is a well telegraphed moment to startle the audience, until about the very end where the personal stakes and visceral scares that the precious two main installments excelled at start to entwine to riff on key moments from The Exorcist and The Shining to great effect. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson continue to be most reliable part of these movies and this is certainly no exception even if their characters…

  • The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees

    ★★★½

    Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, and especially Gina Prince-Bythewood are all working their butts off to shade in a story that probably didn’t have that much depth to begin with, channeling empathy when you could have easily gone the more patronizing route and shot for straight sympathy. It never really recovers from centering on a white protagonist and paralleling their trauma to that of the civil rights movement, but having a person of color behind the camera does give this an…

  • Dead Man Down

    Dead Man Down

    ★★★½

    Netflix should just pivot to being a curated service of just Garbage Crime films, a Criterion Channel just for people who think the action is the juice.